Rose & Emma Windmill’s THE WINDMILL COLLECTION is now part of the Asia-Pacific Photobook Archive


Title: The Windmill Collection

Photographer: Rose & Emma Windmill

Date of publication: 2008

Place of Publication: Sydney, Australia

Language: English

Dimensions of book:  305 x 294 mm

Number of pages: 120

Publisher: T&G Publishing

Design: Rose & Emma Windmill

Editor: Peter Elliston

Printer: China

ISBN: 978-0-9775790-3-7

Summary of Project:

The Windmill Sisters’ collection comprises approximately 1000 images depicting scenes and people in Victoria from 1913 to around 1940, an interesting and important historical collection.

Looking over this vast repository of images is like clearing the mist over the people who inhabit them, watching as they go on holidays, picnics, or pose in gardens with friends. We can be grateful to the Windmill sisters for revealing a glimpse of their lives and sharing their love of photography.

Based on interviews with descendants of the Windmill family, Peter has garnered family mementos and anecdotes about the Windmill photographers to provide a fascinating insight into the lives and attitudes of this period in Australia’s history. The book also discusses the photographic techniques used at the time. Emma and Rose Windmill were two sisters (out of six children) with a love of photography who took countless photographs between 1913 and the 1940s. Born into a typical early 19th Century family, the sisters who never married enjoyed a full life living at their parents’ house in Geelong, west of Melbourne, Australia. Photography was an everyday part of their lives. Their photography was not political, but the work of two women who enjoyed using a camera without pretense to art or social comment, unencumbered by formalist notions.